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John Burnside's first book of poetry since the award-winning The Asylum Dance.

As the judges of the Whitbread Prize noted, 'Burnside's poems have the rare power to alter one's perception of the world and of language - a sensory delight with an epiphany on every page.' Once again, in this, his eighth collection of poetry, John Burnside is looking deeply into the ways we see our world: addressing the organic relationship between the environment and the unconscious, between ideas and creatures, in poems whose protagonists - from the deer who pass through a suburban garden to the poet's six-month-old son - are infinitely mysterious, difficult and 'out there'.

These are poems that move beyond the traditional idea of 'nature poetry', investigating the very basis of our knowledge, not only of living things, but of the play of gravity and light that makes our world and theirs possible. Resonant and luminous, this is a work of intimacy and wonder from one of Britain's most important poets.


If genius is operating anywhere in English poetry at present, I feel it is here, in Burnside's singular music.

Adam Thorpe

Dizzyingly beautiful.

Daily Telegraph

Beautiful and lyrical.

Daily Mail

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Formats & editions

  • The Light Trap
    John Burnside



    April 15, 2002

    Jonathan Cape

    96 pages

    RRP $19.99

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